Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors controls the business of the Company and acts to promote its objects and interests.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • directing and guiding the Company’s strategic direction
  • appointing the Director/CEO
  • maintaining and enhancing the role of the Company as a centre of excellence in the performing arts
  • monitoring and maintaining the financial integrity and viability of the Company.

Chairman Noel Staunton

Noel Staunton

Noel Staunton, Technical Production (RADA), presently Executive Producer for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, was previously the Artistic Director of the Brisbane Festival. He has been CEO at Sydney Dance Company; Creative Executive Producer for a range of projects including for the New South Wales Government the 75th Anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; Executive Producer for The Ring Cycle in Adelaide; Executive Producer for Bazmark Live including La Boheme on Broadway and the Fox Backlot; Technical Director, Opera Australia; Technical Director of English National Opera, London. Noel was previously a member of the (then) NIDA Board of Studies, serving from 1999 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2010. Noel Staunton was appointed to the NIDA Board on 21 May 2015, and has been Deputy Chair since 19 April 2016, and Chairman since 30 May 2019.

Professor Claire Annesley

Claire Annesley is a Professor of Politics and Dean, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture. Prior to joining UNSW, she was Head of Politics and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Equalities and Diversity) at the University of Sussex (2015-2020). Claire was based at the University of Manchester (2000-2015) where she was Assistant Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences.

Claire’s research and teaching expertise includes comparative politics, executives, gender equality, political representation, and public policy. She has received many accolades for her research on gender politics and policy, including the 2011 Richard Rose Prize (The Political Studies Association), the 2011 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize (Iowa State University), the 2012 Public Policy Section Prize (American Political Science Association) and the 2016 Johan Skytte Prize (Uppsala University). While at Sussex, Claire was awarded the University’s 'Outstanding and Innovative Undergraduate Teaching Prize’ in 2016 and 2017, as nominated by students.

Claire is co-author of Cabinet, Ministers and Gender (2019, Oxford University Press) and she has authored several articles that explore gender equality and political representation of women in British politics.

Peter Ivany AO

Peter has been Chairman, NIDA Foundation Trust since April 2013 and a member of the NIDA Board since 21 May 2015. He is Executive Chairman, Ivany Investment Group and previously Chief Executive of Hoyts cinemas (1988 – 1999). Peter is also Owner/Director, IMAX Theatre Sydney and Board Member, Allied Credit and Sydney Zoo. He has had and continues to have many roles in the community and is currently a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, Chairman, Sydney Swans Foundation, Chair, Loftus Peak Advisory Board, Honorary Life Governor and Foundation Chairman, Jewish Communal Appeal, Advisory Council Chairman, Sydney Film Festival and Adjunct Professor, University of Technology Sydney. Peter was also on the Board of Events NSW (2007-11), Chairman of the Australian Film, Television & Radio School from 2006-09, and has been actively involved in many aspects of the film and radio industries throughout his career.

The Hon Richard Refshauge SC

Richard Refshauge SC served as a Judge of the ACT Supreme Court from 2008 to 2017. Prior to his appointment, he had been a litigation lawyer in private practice specialising in commercial, criminal, administrative, insolvency and constitutional law in a leading Canberra law firm of which he was Senior Partner. He left that position on appointment as the ACT’s third Director of Public Prosecutions. Richard has had a long involvement in the arts having been a Director of the Arts Council of Australia and President of its ACT Division, member of the Canberra Theatre Trust, and Chair of the Boards of Fortune Theatre Company, the Australian Choreographic Centre and QL2 Dance. He was member and Chair of the ACT Cultural Council for 10 years and is Chair of the ACT Cultural Facilities Corporation Board. He has wide interests in welfare, especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS and drug rehabilitation, as well as international development, judicial administration, legal education and the Anglican Church. Mr Refshauge was appointed to the Board on has been the Deputy Chair of NIDA since 30 May 2019. He is a member of the NIDA Audit Finance and Risk Committee.

John Robinson

John Robinson is a Partner in EY’s Assurance practice with over 20 years’ experience in the media, communications and publishing sectors, John has served as the auditor of a number of not-for-profit entities in the child advocacy and arts sectors, including The Sydney Festival and the Sydney Story Factory. He is also the independent member of the audit and risk committee for the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and was previously the Deputy Chair of the NSW Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. John has had a longstanding interest in the arts with a family dedicated to visual art, performance and music. John is the Chair of the NIDA Audit Finance and Risk Committee.

Sigrid Thornton AO

Sigrid Thornton AO has had a significant career in theatre, film and television, which has included in film: George Miller's classic The Man from Snowy River (Fox Classics), The Lighthorsemen (RKO) directed by Simon Wincer, Slate Wyn and Me (Hemdale) and The Man from Snowy River 11 (Disney – Touchstone) and Michael Rymer's Face to Face and Tara Karsian & Andrea Grano's BFF's. In 2019 she reprised her much loved role as Laura Gibson in Channel Nine’s Seachange.

Sigrid has presented as MC for luminaries including Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and for the Centenary of Federation joint sittings of the Australian Parliament. In 2003, Sigrid was included in the top 100 Australian Entertainers of the Century by the Variety Club. She has worked extensively behind the camera, and on behalf of the Australian film and television industry, the arts and various charities. In 1995, she was appointed to the Federal Government’s Commercial Television Production Fund and in 1999 was Chair of the Victorian Film & Television Taskforce, whose recommendations revitalised the Victorian film and television industry. Sigrid also continues extensive work with charities including Greenpeace, Reach Foundation and Vision Australia.

Sigrid has extensive experience in oversight of arts organisations including as an inaugural director of Scripted Ink, a not for profit organisation that invests in writer's contributions to the Australian screen industry. She was a director of the Malthouse Theatre 2010 – 2016.

Anna Tregloan

Anna Tregloan (APDG) is a multi-award winning artist, designer and creative producer who collaborates with major cultural institutions and an array of smaller and independent companies, galleries and artists in Australian and internationally.  She creates innovative and intriguing environments to explore complex ideas and has an extensive history in contemporary performance, dance, physical theatre, opera, live-art, exhibition design, participatory events and immersive installations.  She has a Masters in Animateuring from VCA, University of Melbourne and was previously Resident Artist at Malthouse Theatre.  Her collaborators have included Bell Shakespeare, Performance Space, Asia-TOPA, Arts Centre Melbourne, The Science Gallery Melbourne, ACMI, Garin Nugroho Studios, MAAS Powerhouse, Legs of The Wall, Force Majeure, Sydney Opera House, Chambermade Opera and Sydney Chamber Opera.

Catherine West

Catherine has more than 25 years of business and legal affairs experience in the media industry, both in Australia and the UK. Her most recent executive role was Director of Legal – Content, Commercial and Joint Ventures for Sky Plc in the UK. At Sky, Ms West was responsible for all of Sky’s content relationships, distribution, commercial activities, including advertising and sponsorship, joint ventures and investments. She is a consultant to media companies internationally and to the healthcare sector.

Ms West is also a Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed Nine Entertainment Corporation, Monash IVF Group and Peter Warren Automotive. Ms West is vice-President of the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a director of the NIDA Foundation Trust, and a Governor of Wenona School. Ms West is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney.

Darren Dale

Darren Dale

A director of Blackfella Films since 2000, Darren Dale has produced many award-winning documentary, factual and drama programs. His documentary series include the landmark First Australians, two seasons of First Contact (2015 Logie for Most Outstanding Factual Program), three seasons of Filthy Rich and Homeless (2021 BANFF World Media Festival International Rockie Award for Best Docu-series and Gold Award for Documentary (Social Issues) at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards for Season 3), plus How ‘Mad’ Are You?, DNA Nation, Addicted Australia and Books That Made Us. He has also produced the feature documentaries The Tall Man, Deep Water: The Real Story, In My Own Words, Maralinga Tjarutja (2020 AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television) and Step Into Paradise.

Darren, together with Miranda Dear, produced the telemovie Mabo, two seasons and a telemovie of Redfern Now (TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Drama Series in 2013 and 2014, and 2014 AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series), Deep Water and Total Control (2019 AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series and 2020 MIPCOM Diversity TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity – Scripted). Darren was Executive Producer on Ready for This (2015 AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series and 2016 TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Children’s Program). He has recently produced the second season of drama series Total Control for the ABC and is currently producing the historical series First Wars for SBS and an adaptation of Dark Emu for the ABC. Darren is a Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He currently serves on the board of ACMI, the Sydney Film Festival and the Sydney Festival. He was on the board of Screen NSW from 2011 to 2015, the Council of the Australian Film Television and Radio School from 2012 to 2018, with a term as Deputy Chair from 2014 to 2018. In 2012 he was the recipient of the prestigious AFTRS Honorary Degree.

Sophia Zachariou

Sophia Zachariou

Sophia is the Co MD of Bunya Entertainment having joined the company in 2019. Previously as Create NSW Director of Screen Investment, Engagement and Attraction, Sophia led the screen program and prior to that was the Head of Development and Production at Screen NSW. Sophia was the leading creative force behind many of the successful TV Drama initiatives that Create NSW implemented, including #shedirects, with Rachel Griffiths, Leah Purcell and Rachel Perkins targeted at increasing female TV drama directors; Cli-Fi – a screen development program with ABC Drama in the genre of climate-change science fiction; and the Amplifier Feature Film fund with such talented writers and directors as Luke Davies, Jen Peedom and Kate Mulvaney. Sophia is also a passionate advocate for the emerging sector and has championed many emerging creative voices from under-represented groups during her entire career. Prior to joining Create NSW, Sophia commissioned and was the Executive Producer on over thirty award-winning television titles, including Gruen, The Chaser, Kitchen CabinetShaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey and she was also Deputy Head of Entertainment at the Australian national television network ABC TV.

NIDA is a not for profit public company limited by guarantee (ACN 000 257 741).

Constitution (PDF 150KB) of the company.

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NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the sacred lands, from the mountains to the sea, on which we learn and tell stories.

The lands of the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.